Viktor & Rolf's design references are always quite explicit, but their application to the actual clothes can be somewhat obscure. For their new men's collection, they said they'd been thinking about Hollywood stars holidaying in Biarritz in the forties (presumably not allowing a minor irritant like a world war to get in the way of their good time). Visually, this inspiration translated into the idea of shadows cast by sunlight, or the lighting on film sets. So a sweatshirt featured a shadowy double of Viktor & Rolf's signature heavy-rimmed glasses, and there were black patches under suit lapels and dark piping on shirts.

Silhouette-wise, the jacket belted over shorts did evoke the leisurewear of mid-century movie stars, and the beaded lapels on a long-trousered version had an arch glamour. Rolf Snoeren claimed that their inspiration was all in the name of bestowing on boys the elegance of men. In unfortunate practice, it meant an outfit that might have passed muster on a Hollywood he-man came across as fey on a skinny young model. Compounding that impression was the musical guest Viktor & Rolf had chosen for their show: Elly Jackson, a.k.a. La Roux, an English popstress of current note with strikingly boyish looks. That, said Snoeren, is why they chose her—it's the kind of illusion in which V & R delight. But in this case, the most appealing clothes were the outerwear pieces that were exactly what they seemed to be. Oh, and that sweatshirt with the glasses.